A friend once blew my mind with his story about a friend from the States who’d spent twenty-plus years picking up lost playing cards — you know, the ones you see littering the streets? Keep an eye out, you’ll see ‘em — until he completed a whole deck.
Fifty-two unique cards, plus jokers. If that doesn’t blow your mind, then start looking.
Last summer, another friend and I were on a bike ride — actually, the last 125km of Thighs of Steel — and we spotted a blue baseball cap on the side of the road.
I didn’t think anything of it: one of the day’s less interesting roadside flotsam compared to the drifts of cotton fruit and the odd tortoise.
But my friend pulled sharp to a stop, picked the battered cap up and brushed it down.
‘I love these weird old caps,’ he said, showing off his find. ‘Look at that — !’
I looked. The word ‘Castrol’ was stitched into the forehead.
For the rest of the ride, the game was cap-spotting. We found no fewer than six caps that day.
Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago, instructing in the Chiltern Hills. One of those deceptive spring days where the sunrays were stronger than the ambient temperature.
I was surprised to get home and feel the heat still radiating off my scalp.
‘I need a cap,’ I said to myself, without really knowing what I was letting myself in for.
Since then, I’ve been on the look out, hoping to join the secret society of lost hats. So far, I’ve only come up with a luscious woven beach hat and a child’s baseball cap.
Anyway. If you know a kid called Aamilah, let her know that it’s tied up on the handrail leading down to the Durley Chine Harvester. Cheers.